Series tied at two
San Bernandino-Inland Empire used a six run sixth inning, of which four runs were charged to starter Jon Barratt, to cruise to an 8-2 win and tie the California League Championship Series at two games apiece, setting up a do or die Game 5 today. Barratt surrendered four runs on five hits over 4.2 innings, walking three and striking out six, and was handed the loss. Inland Empire then scored their remaining four runs off of Nick Moran to clinch the win.
John Jaso doubled for one of Visalia's two extra base hit, and Chris Nowak was the only player with more than one hit for a sluggish Oaks offense. The other Visalia extra base hit was a solo home run by LF Mark Schleicher, which came in the top of the sixth inning to give the Oaks a very brief 1-0 lead. Fernando Perez and Shaun Cumberland each had a lone hit for the Oaks.
The loss sets up an elimination Game Five tonight in San Bernandino. Derek Feldkamp goes for the Oaks and is matched by the 66ers' Mumba Rivera. The game start time is 10:11 (yes, this is the west coast), and the Visalia franchise will be seeking its first California League title since 1978, and the Rays' second of the minor league season. The Rays are seeking their first championship at this level since the 1997 Florida State League champion St. Pete Devil Rays.